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Birkbeck Eighteenth Century Research Group Public Lecture

January 19, 2011

2 February 2011, Prof. Julian Swann:

‘From Servant of the King to the Idol of the Nation: the Birth of the Politician in Eighteenth-Century France’

The lecture will take place at 6pm, Room 629 Malet Street building, and will be followed by questions and an informal drinks reception.
Details of the lecture

Under Louis XIV the relationship between king and minister was that of master to servant. Yet by the reign of Louis XVI, ministers increasingly posed as servants of the nation. This lecture examines the changes in French political culture that made such a change possible, and considers the argument that it was the monarchy rather than the revolution that had produced the first modern politicians.

Julian Swann is professor of History at Birkbeck in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. His current research project focuses on disgrace, political punishment and internal exile in ancien régime France, and he has published numerous articles on the political, administrative and social history of the French monarchy, from the accession of Louis XIV until the Revolution of 1789. His books include: Politics and the Parlement of Paris, 1754-1774 (Cambridge, 1995), Provincial Power and the Absolute Monarchy: The Estates General of Burgundy, 1661-1790 (Cambridge, 2003), and Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Europe: From the Waldensians to the French Revolution, ed. with Barry Coward (Ashgate, 2004).

 

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